Joseph D. Duffey is the director of the US Information Agency, which includes the Voice of America.
Washington - By default, the portrayal of American
culture by the private sector is left exclusively to the mainstream media,
particularly through such outlets as CNN, and the variety of comedies
and dramas exported either for television or cinema. While the United
States enjoys a dominant position in the production and exportation of
entertainment products, it remains debatable whether those products best
serve America's broader interests and ultimately democracy itself. In
recent years, an array of public figures has condemned the entertainment
industry for its insistent portrayal of sex, crime and violence. Whether
the critique is the depravity of Hollywood or the moral abyss of afternoon
talk shows, a bipartisan consensus has emerged that America's mainstream
media persistently expose their views to images and messages that undermine
the moral character of their audience.